AN ENTREPRENEUR from Maldon is celebrating his business’ 50,000th kids’ party.

Darren Bewley was just 14 when he knew he wanted to run his own nationwide kids’ party business.

While it may have just been a pipe dream for the teenager, 30 years later the 45-year-old entrepreneur is about to realise it by breaking into Scotland and Ireland with DNA Kids.

The business, run from Rawreth, Wickford, employs up to 90 people across England and Wales, including 15 in Essex, and has been 26 years in the making.

This month will see DNA Kids break the 50,000th party barrier. As a thank you to his loyal customers, Mr Bewley is giving away the party for free to one lucky winner.

It is a dream come true for Mr Bewley, whose greatest school grade was a C in drama at GCSE.

He said: “I remember saying to my wife when I was 17 I don’t want to be just anybody. I want to be somebody.

“I didn’t think for one minute it would end up being this. I just did what I love.

“I am really passionate and always have been. I work on my days off. I really believe you should do what you love and I really love my job.

“I’m just really lucky.”

Mr Bewley was only 14 when he announced to his parents he was going to run his own party business.

After his mum and dad told him he would have to find someone else to buy his DJ equipment and ferry him around from party to party, he waited until he was 18.

He started his business at his parents’ home in Hullbridge, DJing at birthday parties in Essex and advertising in newspapers.

Before long, he was being double booked and had to take on staff.

Now DNA Kids takes orders of up to 300 parties a week, throwing everything from magic and wacky science bashes to parties for princesses and superheroes.

DNA Kids has hosted parties for scores of celebrities from tennis ace Boris Becker to footballer Franco Zola.

He said: “I remember setting up in this village hall in summertime and I had seen the name of the woman who made the booking and didn’t think anything of it.

“I remember seeing this guy and thinking ‘do I know him? Where do I know that guy from?’.

“It was only when I was in the middle of a game where I had kids jumping up and down with inflatable bananas I suddenly thought ‘that’s Eric Clapton’.

“He never said who he was because he wasn’t that kind of guy. But he came over and said I was doing a great job and had a real talent.”

Mr Bewley hopes to break into Scotland and Ireland by 2020 and then the next on his list is America.

To thank their loyal customers, the 50,000th person to book with the company will be given their party for free. The barrier is expected to be reached this month.

Mr Bewley added: “I really hope it is me who gets to take that call and tells them they have won.”

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